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A Guide to the Iowa GED

Not everyone is fortunate enough to graduate with a high school diploma. Sometimes life gets in the way and the opportunity to earn a diploma disappears. Luckily there is an alternative option called the GED (General Educational Development) diploma that provides people a chance to earn the educational credentials they need to find employment or enter a post-secondary school. Here is what you need to know about the Iowa GED exam.

Iowa GED Test Format

The GED exam tests candidates on the subjects they would have studied in high school. Those subjects include math, language arts reading and writing, science, and social studies. The test has five sections that contain a total of 240 multiple choice questions and one essay question. Each section is timed and you will have a total of 7.5 hours to complete the exam. Many testing centers allow you to take the exam over multiple days if you are not able to complete it in one sitting.

Passing the Iowa GED Test

To pass the Iowa GED exam, you must earn an average of 450 out of 800 possible points for each exam for a cumulative score of 2,250. A failing grade will be assigned to any test that scores below 410. Once you have completed the entire exam, however, you will be able to retake the portions of the test you didn’t pass.

There is a 30-day waiting period between retakes. As an alternative, you can complete an adult literacy program in the subjects you will be retesting on. This coursework must be certified by the person administering the program or the GED exam facility before you will be allowed to take the official test again.

Iowa GED Exam Eligibility Requirements

To take the Iowa GED test, you must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • At least 18 years of age or older
  • Iowa resident
  • Withdrawn from high school for a minimum of six months
  • Not a high school graduate
  • Pass the official practice GED exam, attained a level C or D in the Comprehensive Adult Student Assessment System, or provide other proof that you have the knowledge and skills needed to pass the GED test. More information about this can be obtained from the testing facility.

Kids 16 and 17 years old can take the GED test, but additional restrictions apply such as they must have permission from parents or guardians to take the test. The GED diploma will not be officially awarded to them, however, until they turn 18 and their ninth grade class has graduated from high school. For more information about eligibility requirements for underage test takers, visit the Iowa Department of Education website or contact the official GED testing facility nearest you.

Registering for the Iowa GED Exam

The Iowa GED test can only be taken at an official examination facility. To register for the test you must submit an application at the site and present the following items:

  • Photo identification (driver’s license, student ID, passport, or military ID)
  • People aged 16 to 18 must present withdrawal slips from the last secondary school attended and permission slips from a parents or guardians

The fee for the test must also be paid at this time, after which you will be able to set an appointment to take the exam. The fee for the Iowa GED exam is $100 for the full battery of tests and $5 per individual test for retakes.

Preparing for the Iowa GED Test

There are numerous ways you can prepare for the Iowa GED exam. You can enroll in a GED review course offered by an adult education center or community college. Alternatively, you can study independently using GED study guides and free GED practice tests found online.